RARA-AVIS: PI out of water

From: George Pelecanos ( shoedog1@erols.com)
Date: 01 Oct 2001

Taking the protagonist out of his city is as old as the genre itself. Hammett did it to the Op in RED HARVEST, as Chandler did to Marlowe in THE LADY IN THE LAKE. I think it's more than just an author wanting to get his head out of town in order to get his juices flowing again. By moving the detective off his turf, the writer is in effect weakening him, thereby creating natural conflict and suspense. To put it another way, the city boy's britches don't look so big out in the country, where he is without allies and on unfamiliar ground.

George Pelecanos

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